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Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
07-09-2015, 04:12 AM,
#1
SarahWorksAtHome Offline
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Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
We have two dogs, one cat, a kitten and one bearded dragon that we have never left home alone for more than about five hours in the entire time we have had them. We do not travel much, I am a stay at home mom so there's been no reason.
However, we took a three day trip this past weekend- and heartbreak ensued.
We set up for my boyfriend's sister to come and stay the first night then the next two days check in on them.
We got a message from her the first night with a picture of our big girl Rosie laying on the couch with tears running down her face. Said she would not eat or play. The kitten, cat and puppy were oblivious but Rosie was depressed.
The next day she grew more concerned as she still could not get her to eat or play, just lay and whimper and cry.
As we were headed home the third day she called us and said, "Talk. You're on speakerphone. She's miserable."
So we started calling her name and asking if she was hungry and if she was ready for us to be home. His sister said she jumped up and ran to the phone and the muffled noises we heard was her licking the phone. After the call ended- she ate a little and went to lay on our bed.
The welcoming we got from her when we got in was crazy! She has been the world's biggest lap dog since we got back.
I'm almost scared to leave her again, now!
Any tips for making the next time easier on her?
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07-09-2015, 09:08 AM,
#2
niightwind Offline
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RE: Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
That's a tough one. My dog is of course affected when we leave him on his own for a while, but most of it he takes out with just not pooping; he'll still eat like normal. My biggest suggestion would be to leave some things for your dog that she is familiar with that will remind her of you. We always leave a pet sitter with the animals when we're away, and we've been told most every time that the dog spends more time then he usually does curled up on the pillows that we use, instead of using his bed. We suppose he likes the scent and feels closer to us even when we're away if he has access to things that make him feel more comfortable without us.

Another tip - do you have any people that visit often that your dog is fond of? If so, that person might be the best choice of a pet sitter for you. If you have a friend or family member that your dog really likes being around she might be more comfortable being away from you if she is in the company of someone she is already familiar with; someone she thinks of as part of the family even if they aren't there all the time. My dog is very sad when he is left completely alone without anyone he knows around, but if we call my aunt (who he just adores) to visit him he always perks right up when she's there.
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07-09-2015, 02:59 PM,
#3
SarahWorksAtHome Offline
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RE: Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
He poops less but eats like normal? That sounds like it could cause some major bellyache for that poor baby! Yowch. I imagine it's plenty of mess or trips outside once you get back and his system tries to regulate!
We do have family members to pet sit. It was my boyfriend's sister who lived with us for a few months when our oldest dog was a puppy and is at our home several times a week that came to our house this weekend to care for our pets. Rosie will normally play with her and her husband and son but isn't as fond of her as she is of her husband and son. She told us that even when her husband and son were over, Rosie wouldn't play with them either. They tried everything, all her favorite toys and games, treats and even getting in the floor with her. Nothing would prevail, she just laid around and cried and pouted. It broke my heart the pictures they sent of her sad little face!
I am really hoping that now that we have gone and come back from vacation this first time she will know when we go for our next trip, that we will be back and it won't be quite as hard on her. We have an opportunity to go to the beach quite often that is four hours away and stay free with friends so it will only cost us the gas and it's hard to pass that up! I wish we could just take her with us but four people in a compact sedan plus a huge dog would not work out very well and there are already pets at the house we will be staying at and I don't want to stir any trouble up there!
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07-10-2015, 09:31 AM,
#4
kfander Offline
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RE: Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
I don't take long vacations because two of my three cats are twenty-five, so I don't like to leave them alone. Oh, I can easily make sure they have enough food and water, and I can arrange for someone to change the litter boxes, but they are used to a lot of attention during the day and, at their age, they need some attention. Because I was single for the first ten years of their lives, they don't adjust well to new people so it's not like I can ask a friend to spend time with them; they would hide and the friend would never see them. The young one, Ella, would be fine with pretty much anyone. She tried to go home with the UPS guy the other day, so I wouldn't worry about her.

Their cat feeder will hold eight pounds of kibble, which gravity feeds into the bowl, so they have enough food for a couple of weeks, at least. Adding water bowls is no problem. But I also feed my cats wet food three times a day, to be sure they get enough hydration, and that's a little harder to arrange.
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07-10-2015, 11:28 AM,
#5
Shihtzufan Offline
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RE: Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
Oh, it's painful having to leave pets isn't it?

I'm in the fortunate position right now that my in-laws actually live quite close to us, so if we have to go away for any reason, whether that's for vacations or work-related stuff we are able to drop our dog and cat off with them. My in-laws also have a Shih Tzu, so our pets also have an extra play mate when we go away.

My mother in law also lavishes them with treats, and quite honestly I think they feel as if they are on a vacation too! They're probably disappointed when they have to come back home again!

I think that's probably my best tip - maybe get a couple of new toys, and some special yummy treats for your pets so that they feel like you being away is almost something to look forward to because of all the fun stuff they get to play with and eat!
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07-11-2015, 02:06 AM,
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SarahWorksAtHome Offline
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RE: Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
(07-10-2015, 11:28 AM)Shihtzufan Wrote: Oh, it's painful having to leave pets isn't it?

I'm in the fortunate position right now that my in-laws actually live quite close to us, so if we have to go away for any reason, whether that's for vacations or work-related stuff we are able to drop our dog and cat off with them. My in-laws also have a Shih Tzu, so our pets also have an extra play mate when we go away.

My mother in law also lavishes them with treats, and quite honestly I think they feel as if they are on a vacation too! They're probably disappointed when they have to come back home again!

I think that's probably my best tip - maybe get a couple of new toys, and some special yummy treats for your pets so that they feel like you being away is almost something to look forward to because of all the fun stuff they get to play with and eat!

Sounds like they are spoiled by grandma just as most kids are! Hahaha!
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07-14-2015, 01:57 AM,
#7
thegrey Offline
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RE: Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
As long as we had a house sitter, our pets were ok with our being gone. The one exception was our cockatiel. A close friend kept him at her house for us while we went to the beach one year. He was alright for about a week, but then he grew more and more depressed. After 10 days, he stopped eating! As soon as I heard that, we left for home right away! When we walked in, Opie started screeching and running all over the cage. We had to take turns holding him until he snuggled in. Some pets just can't stand not having you with them. I don't know any remedy for separation anxiety.
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08-27-2015, 02:01 PM,
#8
Susan Offline
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RE: Leaving my pets for vacation for the first time.
I have two cats. We never go away for more then two or three days. When we do go away the cats stay home but we have a neighbor who comes in and feeds and checks on them three times a day. They know him now so whenever he drops in he plays with them for a bit before he leaves. Then he always sends us a text to let us know how they are doing. When we get back home they are always glad to see us.
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